Athens-based cruise line Celestyal Cruises this week showcased its largest fleet addition, the Celestyal Journey, at Limassol port.
The vessel is part of the cruise routes initiated last September and scheduled to continue until June 2024, with breaks in January and February. In a recorded video message, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis, congratulated the company for acquiring this state-of-the-art cruise ship, declaring it “worthy of the EU fleet and a significant investment”. He emphasised the substantial economic impact of Celestyal Cruises, particularly on the local economy, noting that cruise ships steadily enrich Cyprus’ tourism product and services, even during months of low demand, contributing to the extension of the tourist season.
Highlighting the importance of the cruise sector for the country, Koumis stated that Cyprus, with its unique geographic location and cultural wealth, has the potential to become an outstanding cruise destination for any cruise ship. “I am convinced that the Celestyal Journey will further enhance the sector, which, according to recent data, exhibits remarkable global growth prospects,” he said, commending Celestyal Cruises for supporting the country’s economy and promoting tourism flows to the island.
Stelios Himonas, the Director-General of the Ministry of Shipping, highlighted the priority of the cruise sector for their ministry, which supports initiatives that strengthen the sector while simultaneously developing tourism areas and cities. The collaboration with the cruise industry and the promotion of tourism through cruises, he continued, significantly contributes to the economy and has a positive impact on employment and the promotion of Cyprus as a tourist destination. Himonas commended Costakis Loizou, the Executive President of the Louis Group, and Chris Theophilides, the CEO of the company, for their “excellent choice to include Limassol port in the cruise itinerary”.
Furthermore, Nikos Nicolaides, the Mayor of Limassol, expressed gratitude for the company’s trust in Limassol. He reminded everyone that another cruise ship of the company, the Celestyal Olympia, used Limassol port as its base in 2021. “Limassol is gradually evolving into a cruise hub, and this year we expect over 200 cruise ship arrivals with more than 300,000 passengers,” Nicolaides said. He also assured that the Municipality of Limassol would do everything possible to provide the best experience for passengers visiting the city, even if it’s just for a short stay, thus leaving with memories of a city worth visiting. The CEO of Celestyal Cruises, Chris Theophilides, provided details about the new ship, stating that the vessel has undergone renovations and upgrades worth €26 million.
In addition, it is equipped with systems that reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 85 per cent. “Our goal was to acquire a medium-sized ship, which we believe is suitable for the destinations we visit,” he said, adding that the new ship elevates the level of services offered.
The Celestyal Journey features 630 cabins, seven restaurants, eight bars, a dedicated area for the well-being of the body and spirit, two pools, conference rooms, an amphitheatre, a casino, and other entertainment spaces. It can accommodate 1,260 people. Following its inaugural cruises in the “Idyllic Aegean” in September, the Celestyal Journey continues in October with the “Steps of St. Paul” cruise, with stops in Athens, Salonica, Kavala, Istanbul, Dikili, Kusadasi, and Patmos.
Subsequently, it will set sail for the seven-night “Three Continents” cruise, with visits to Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, and Turkey.